We have finally reached the end of the 2015 regular season. For some of us it is the start of the playoffs. For the rest of us it is the last game of the season that could determine our playoff seeding or if we get into the playoffs at all.
Most leagues have cutoff waiver pickups, but if you can still make moves, try and move players while you can. This week, I lost Mark Ingram who was 3rd in PPR leagues in scoring and averaging 18.6 fantasy points per game. Big blow at this time of the year. Brandin Cooks, who has averaged 15 fantasy points since coming off the bye, is dealing with a concussion and could miss this week. Look for Ben Watson, averaging 11 fantasy points over the past two games, to see heavy targets. This time of year, I like to monitor the weather more. Teams tend to run the ball more when the weather gets cold. This can effect the production of receivers who will get fewer targets and quarterbacks who will attempt less passes.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
Allen Robinson– 10 receptions for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns. Robinson is a stud and he is rarely discussed as such, but he currently is 6th among wide receivers in total points scored and is 2nd behind Tyler Eifert with 11 receiving touchdowns.
Cam Newton– 331 Yards and 5 touchdowns. Cam continues his MVP-like season as he set a career best in touchdowns in a season with 25. Ten of those touchdowns coming in two of the past 3 games. He is also 1 rushing touchdown away from tying his total from his sophomore season.
Javorius Allen– 17 carries for 63 yards and 12 receptions for 107 yards, 1 touchdown. Allen has been under the radar the past 3 weeks but he has posted 19 fantasy points in back-to-back games before putting up 37 last week.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.
Eddie Lacy– 5 carries for 4 yards. Just when you thought you could depend on Lacy in your lineup, he lays another dud. This time it was due to being late to a meeting which is information we wish we knew heading into Week 13.
DeMarco Murray– 8 carries for 24 yards. Murray is looking like the worst free agent pickup this season as he has now failed to rush for over 100 yards in 10 of 11 games this season. He isn’t getting along with Chip Kelly and it doesn’t seem as the offense will focus on him. You have to consider benching him for the rest of the year.
Giovani Bernard– 5 carries for 26 yards, 1 reception for 9 yards. Just a few weeks ago, Bernard beat the Cardinals for 128 yards and 8 receptions out of the back field. With Tyler Eifert returning this week, it’s hard to see Bernard getting back into the mix. Just like last season, he is falling behind Jeremy Hill and is no longer a viable flex option.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Matthew Stafford against the Rams. I haven’t recommend Stafford much this season. Last time was during Thanksgiving where he threw 5 touchdowns. Stafford hasn’t been terrible this season as he ranks 11th among quarterbacks. Stat-wise, the Rams rank 11th this season in pass defense but over this 5-game losing streak they have been blown out in three of those games. Over the last 3 weeks they have given up 6 touchdowns. The way the Rams offense has been playing, there will be plenty of drives for Stafford to rack up stats.
Blake Bortles against the Colts. What a difference a year makes. Bortles is on pace to triple his touchdown production from last season and he is currently 7th among quarterbacks in fantasy points. Last week, we saw Bortles throw for 5 touchdowns. This week, he faces a Colts team that has struggled on defense after getting manhandled by the Steelers last week. The Colts are allowing 280.4 passing yards per game with 24 touchdowns.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Tyrod Taylor against the Eagles. Taylor is averaging 20.6 fantasy points this season and has back-to-back 28-point games entering Week 14. He is going up against the Eagles who are always good for fantasy points with 19.1 per game. They have given up two-or-more touchdowns in 5 straight games and are ranked 24th in passing yards allowed with 258.8 and 28 touchdowns surrendered.
Good running back matchups this week:
Doug Martin against the Saints. Many will focus on Jameis Winston facing the poor Saints defense, but Martin has just a good a matchup this week. Martin is currently the 4th best running back this season averaging 18.6 fantasy points per game. The Saints are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points per game at 20.8. They are ranked dead last with 137.8 rushing yards per game with 9 touchdowns.
T.J. Yeldon against the Colts. Bortles is in for a big game, but Yeldon will also produce solid fantasy stats in this game. Last week, Yeldon found the end zone for the first time since Week 7. This week, he faces the Colts who are 24th in the league allowing 118.7 rushing yards per game with 9 touchdowns given up. The Colts allow 17.7 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Shaun Draughn against the Browns. Draughn has put up a steady 18 fantasy points over the past 3 weeks. He’s flying under the radar but if you are a Mark Ingram owner or thin at running back, then Draughn is a guy that can help you win round one or get you into the playoffs this week. He faces a Browns defense that is 31st in run defense allowing 136.3 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
David Carr against the Broncos. When Carr faced the Broncos in Week 5, he was held to just 249 yards passing and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Carr was shaky last week tossing 3 interceptions. The Broncos lead the league in passing defense allowing just 195.6 per game and 11 touchdowns. Playing on the road makes him an even less appealing option.
Johnny Manziel against 49ers. After playing well in Week 10, Manziel was given the starting gig only to get bench when video surfaced of him partying. This week, it would appear that playing Manziel against the 49ers would be a decent play, but I don’t trust Manziel and the 49ers defense have gone two weeks without giving up a touchdown. I’m avoiding the Browns this week.
Matt Ryan against the Panthers. You never know how divisional games will go, but the way the Panthers are playing this season, it is going to be a tough game for the Falcons. Last season, the Panthers limited Julio Jones. The Falcons, after starting out 6-1, have dropped 5 straight. The Panthers defense is allowing 227.2 passing yards per game with 16 touchdowns.
Bad running back matchups this week:
Todd Gurley against the Lions.
Gurley was on a tear for 5 weeks, scoring in each of the games from week 7 through week 11, but the last two weeks have been brutal for this offense and this week doesn’t look any better. Gurley would be great for the playoffs, but the way this offense is playing he can’t be depended on. The Lions come into this game giving up just 1 touchdown over the last 4 games and are giving up an average of only 47.8 rushing yards during that span. On the season, they are allowing 108.7 rushing yards per game (18th) with 16 touchdowns.
C.J. Spiller against the Buccaneers. The Saints surprisingly lost Mark Ingram to a shoulder injury which he will miss the rest of the season. Many will think Spiller is the next in line but it is Tim Hightower that will see the bulk of the carries. Spiller has been a non-factor in this offense all season and he role won’t change much. Sure he will see a few more passes but thats it. They will face the Bucs who haven’t given up a touchdown in 9 straight games to a running back and are ranked 7th in the NFL allowing 94.7 yards per game with only 5 touchdowns.
Danny Woodhead against the Chiefs. In PPR leagues, Woodhead was one of the top running back in the first half of the season. Before the bye week in Week 10, Woodhead was averaging 16.8 fantasy points per game. Over the past 3 games, his production has dropped to 5.7 fantasy points per game. It is strange because the Chargers have lost a number of receivers to injury and you would think his Woodhead’s involvement would increase. This week he faces the Chiefs who are 8th in the NFL allowing 96.2 rushing yards per game with 6 touchdowns allowed.